Archive for November, 2008

AMAC articles on American Chronicle

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

dvd on the history of Macedonia

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

John Rylands Book-1914

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

In 1914, a study was done on the continuity of the Greek ethnicity and how Greeks have been able to absorb other groups who have come into historical Greek lands while maintaining their culture and of course their language.

Foreign Affairs; ‘Macedonia’ for Greece

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Old one but a good one nonetheless………

June 12, 1992
Foreign Affairs; ‘Macedonia’ for Greece
What’s in a name? Ghosts or real historical demons. Perhaps war or peace. Nothing and everything.

The name in question is Macedonia, birthplace of Alexander the Great and Aristotle. Some 1.9 million souls who used to constitute a republic within Yugoslavia now insist they must have that name for their newly independent state. Greece, with its own province of Macedonia, says it will recognize the new state, with its capital of Skopje — but only if “Macedonia” appears nowhere in its name.

From the Balkan wars of 1913 to the Greek civil war of 1946 to 1949, when Greek and Macedonian Communists tried to unite the two Macedonias into Yugoslavia, tens of thousands have died over this obscure pinch of land. And over this issue today, Greece is united as it has rarely been throughout what Greeks here call their 2,500 years of democracy.

This history and situation would be quite unremarkable save for one very curious occurrence: Most West European nations and the U.S. are not supporting Greece in the matter. That fence-sitting is curious, even mysterious, because the West has every incentive to back reform-minded Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis — whose two-seat majority in Parliament surely will collapse unless he can bring the Macedonian issue to a successful conclusion.

The question of Western neutrality and even quiet opposition saturates newspapers, television and daily conversation in this low-slung, white city on the Aegean.

The conservative Mr. Mitsotakis is the most pro-American Greek leader in a very long time. He consummated a controversial naval base agreement with the U.S. He recognized Israel and got tough on terrorism. Surprisingly, he delivered Greek help for the war against Iraq. He has the full weight of the powerful Greek-American lobby behind him, a lobby with close ties to President Bush. Not least, the alternatives to Mr. Mitsotakis are the notoriously anti-American Socialists.

The 12-nation European Community, of which Greece is a member, also has strong reasons for helping Mr. Mitsotakis out. Greece has become the poorest E.C. nation, a basket case constantly in need of E.C. economic aid. And though E.C. leaders feel that this gentle Prime Minister has not gone far or fast enough in making reforms, they greatly prefer him to Andreas Papandreou, his old and bitter Socialist rival.

Mr. Mitsotakis does not have a good explanation for his plight either. “Perhaps Greece didn’t provide enough historical information soon enough to the West” before their positions were staked out, he said in an interview in his office, sitting behind his desk flanked by the Greek and E.C. flags with tables adorned by proud pictures of his extensive family.

He recalled that months ago he offered compromise names like Slav-Macedonia, only to be rebuffed by Skopje and Greek politicians and ignored by the West. Pressed for further explanations, he responded: “I would prefer not to explain.”

In the Balkans, answers are always elusive. Perhaps the West does not like the friendly relationship between Mr. Mitsotakis and President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia. Though the Greek fully supports E.C. sanctions against Serbia. Perhaps the West fears the two will divide Yugo-Macedonia between them. Though it is now known that Mr. Mitsotakis rejected just such a Milosevic offer. Perhaps the West thinks of Skopje as a democracy. Though it is run by a bunch of Communists who still look to Serbia. Perhaps the West reckons that independence for Skopje can work only if it has the name Macedonia. Though these “Macedonians” are mostly Slavs, and though Macedonia is largely a geographical expression and not a tribal reality. Perhaps Britain and Turkey are secretly conspiring against Greece, as many Greeks darkly suggest.

Or maybe the explanation for Western neutrality is tragically simple — Greece no longer counts. Once at the center of Western civilization, it now seems a backwater.

But such a judgment would be shortsighted. Greece is the one true democracy in the Balkans. And it is led by a man trying to rid the Greek economy of bureaucratic Socialism and who is also working with Turkey toward a solution of the long-festering Cyprus problem. These are not prospects to throw away over a name. Let the West tell Skopje to be “Skopje,” and let “Macedonia” be Greek.…55C0A964958260

Macedonia,Hellenism & Stefov

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Macedonia and Hellenism

by Theodoros Karakostas
November 11, 2008
The Hellenic Electronic Center (HEC) A Non-Profit Organization Registered in the US

with 37,000 Hellenes as members and 36 Hellenic associations in the US and abroad.

In his attack on the Austalian Macedonian Advisory Council (November 3) Risto Stefov continues behaving like a zealot. Attesting to the intellectually corrupt nature of his racist anti-Hellenic attacks are his very selective citations which he proceeds to list without any serious elaboration on his part. Mr. Stefov quite clearly cannot make an argument based on his own knowledge which is why in this most recent attack on the Australian Macedonian Advisory Council he puts fourth several statements as if they were factual without actually elaborating on them. The emotional tone of his writings over the past several weeks indicate the lack of thoughtful or objective analysis with regard to his attitude toward Greece and Greeks throughout the world.

His inability to elaborate demonstrates his own lack of knowledge and the manner and tone of his writings serve witness to the pattern of blatant anti-Greek bigotry. Mr. Stefov has continued to deny not only the proven Hellenism of Macedonia, but the very existence of the Greek people and their language throughout the collection of writings that he has posted on the American Chronicle’s forum. The fact remains the Greek Case for Macedonia is solid, and this can be seen by the international support that Greece has built based on the merits of historical evidence and documentation.

First, France, Italy, and others supported the Greek position when Athens blocked Skopje from entering the NATO alliance. Other countries such as Hungary and Germany expressed “understanding” for the Greek position. In 1995, the United States and United Nations pressured Skopje to remove the ancient Macedonian Sun of Vergina from its flag. Why would they have pressured Skopje to make this concession were it not for the fact that the evidence for Macedonia’s Hellenic heritage is beyond dispute?

Even critics of Greece’s opposition to Skopje’s membership in NATO do not question the substantive points raised by Greece in its opposition to Skopjan membership. The Skopjan cause owes its life only to the fact that its lobby has successfully misrepresented Skopje as a potential victim in the Balkans during the period of the Yugoslav wars during the 1990’s, thus leading a variety of western commentators to adopt a pro-Skopjan stance. Regardless of these public positions, few supporters of Skopje in any government or media organization has ever questioned the historical facts as put forward by the Greek government on the question of ancient Macedonia.

In fact when Slavs emanating from Skopje have been publicly pressed on the matter of Macedonia, they have made a clear departure from their own propaganda. Former President Gligorov denied any connection between the Slavs of Skopje and the ancient Macedonian Greeks. When asked by a prominent American film critic about Greece’s objection to the use of the name Macedonia by Skopje, filmmaker Milcho Manchevski (Before the Rain) did not deny the Hellenism of Macedonia, nor did he put forward any of the preposterous theories disseminated by Mr. Stefov. Indeed, prominent citizens of Skopje seem to have been very careful about disseminating their anti-Hellenic propaganda outside Skopje and in forums where their theories are bound to attract attention and raise serious questions. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has stated that he agrees with Greece on the issue of Macedonia. Journalists such as Christopher Hitchens (recently honored by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the top intellectuals in the World) have supported Greece on the issue of Macedonia. Even Misha Glenny, whom Mr, Stefov recently cited in one of his commentaries has expressed sharp criticism of the Skopjans in his book, “The Fall of Yugoslavia” by pointing out there were no Slavs in the Balkans during the time of Alexander the Great. In a later edition of the same book, Mr. Glenny expressed sympathy for the interim pact between Greece and Skopje in 1995 which saw the latter remove the Macedonian Sun of Vergina from its flag.

Mr. Stefov’s extremism can be seen by his overall denigration of historic Greek figures from Alexander the Great up to Saints Cyril and Methodios, and by his attempt to denigrate the Greek language which has been in continuous use from the classical period. It is this sort of ignorance and bigotry that has fueled the dispute between Greece and Skopje. Ordinary Greeks have shown a dignified respect for Skopje by investing in that country and supporting it economically. The Greek government opened diplomatic relations with Skopje, a profound gesture that demonstrates a desire for friendship on the part of the Greece.

Mr. Stefov and his writings contribute nothing to the advancement of friendship between the two countries, but continue to promote hatred and division.

Theodore G. Karakostas [email protected], Member of HEC Executive Council,